51.35% The Tiger Within / Chapter 359: Loyalty

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Chapter 359: Loyalty

Clovis however was preoccupied with the way the word mate made him feel. It was such a primal word for what they were, and yet it felt much better than husband. It felt so much more permanent, that it was soothing. There was no divorce for a mate, it was till death. Their union had been threatened as husband and wife, but no one could take the title of mate from him besides her. She had given it to him, no priest or emperor. By submitting herself to him and allowing him to love her he felt she had given him a priceless gift. Security and stability.

Kyera smiled as she looked back at him, seeing his confidence she almost forgot he was human. He looked so in place… at home in her woodlands traveling with the Wild ones. "What are you thinking?" Kyera asked curiously. He seemed to hear her though he was still lost in thought.

"About ravishing my mate." he replied passively, his mind still following the concept of forever. There was silence as Kyera missed a step and stumbled slightly. He then realized what he just said aloud. Hoping he was mistaken and he hadn't just said that aloud, he glanced at her. Her cheeks were a brilliant red as she avoided his eyes. Such a brilliant site, her shy blush was endearing. "I was thinking about how mate means forever." he tried to explain and move past his thoughtless words. She smiled softly.

"It can mean forever, yes. However it also doesn't mean forever." Kyera began to explain and his heart dropped. "Some animals mate for a mating period, others mate for life. Shifters are similar. We follow the methods and tendencies of their kindred spirit." Kyera continued as she led them down the well trodden path. The trees danced with the wind, bright green needles making subtle music for their enjoyment.

"I see." Clovis tried to hide his disappointment. "Aren't tiger's loners?" he asked with a sudden sinking feeling in his chest.

"No that is honestly a rumor. Tigers hunt alone but often spend time with another tiger. A mated pair may even hunt together if they feel like it but they are life bond mates." Kyera's  words soothed that suddenly uneasy feeling. In all honesty, je was surprised to heat her admit that so coolly and yet blush crimson at his own words.

"Ahh, I see. The tiger is a faithful creature then." Clovis seemed relieved by his realization no matter how much he tried to hide it from her.  Kyera tensed slightly.

Had this been a few months ago, she would have agreed proudly. However, just at the moment, there was a twinge of pain in her heart. She was faithful till she believed him dead. That was the way of the wild. When a mate died young you found another to love as is the way of nature. However for her, he hadn't truly died. Yet when he returned, he attacked her. The love they kindled had become… something else. Could this be called loyalty?

Letting a loved one believe you dead, and attacking her once you return? He was a tiger but there was no loyalty in his actions. Then there was her, stolen away from his side leaving him alone to face the world. A tiger without the one he wanted for a mate? Then she had married within the year she had heard he died… was that loyalty? Kyera knew in truth, it was not. Sometimes life did not allow for loyalty to the heart. Afterall, one must choose between loyalty to one's heart and loyalty to one's people.

The turmoil on her mind reached her face. The complex emotions made for a very sad emotion, likes of which he could not place. The inquiry he wanted to make stopped in his throat. Instead, Clovis reached out and took her hand, firmly. Her eyes met his and he offered a smile. Their fingers were intertwined to the moment they reached the winter portal.

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